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Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 2
Episode #,and Episode Name: 13 – “Obsession”, 14 – “Wolf in the Fold”, 15 – “The Trouble with Tribbles”, and 16 – “The Gamesters of Triskelion”
Setting the Stage: I started at 12 pm on January 18, 2020, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. Professor Zoom was attached to my side for all four episodes, husband sat in on Tribbles, and all of the cats were around at one point or another. Today was laundry day, so it took longer to get through the episodes for the various breaks of walk down the stairs, move the things, start the machines, rinse and repeat. There was also a break for burgers and soda at one of our favorite places, Corbett’s. Tonight, I am writing to a mix of Daft Punk and El Ten Eleven.
For those who are unaware, I was not an English major. English is my first language, but I have never been much of a speller. I do try my best to edit before I post, but I’m also usually posting late at night and when I’m super tired. I appreciate those who have pointed out typos and I’ll do my best to keep a better eye out. One of my favorite writers, Laurell K. Hamilton, posted this on social media a while ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “Obsession” opens with Kirk and Spock surveying a rock when a strange white cloud appears in the background, and Kirk has a sensory memory. As security goes to check things out the men are attacked and only one survives, albeit briefly. Kirk and a bunch of security beam back down, two of the men are attacked but one gets a shot off. Scotty, McCoy, and Spock all believe that they should move onto deliver the vaccines, but Kirk is obsessed (hence the title of the episode). I’m glad they made it clear by naming the episode that, having Shatner act it out, and having Spock point it out. Really, I wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise.
Spock relays to McCoy that Kirk was on the U. S. S. Farragut when this same entity attacked over 200 crew members and the new security guard that froze, is the son of the captain that was killed all of those years ago. Kirk feels guilty while also wondering if he is making the right decision, and he’s quite emotional and a bit irrational. This totally makes sense, he has a bit of PTSD and is on a one-man mission to destroy this thing once and for all. McCoy and Spock prepare a medical entry to decide if Kirk has lost it, and Kirk begins to get a little paranoid that everyone is conspiring against him. The cloud runs out to space, but then enters the Enterprise, and doesn’t find Spock too tasty. Kirk realizes the phaser won’t make a difference, but Scotty might have a fix. After some dramatics, the smoke monster is blown up and the transporter works the way it was intended, at the most dramatic last minute ever. This episode was a solid 6 for me, but I’m not sure why. I like seeing Kirk a little out of character, a little out of control, but it was too neat and clean to have the new guy be the son of the captain who died, and then new guy makes the same damn mistake Kirk did 11 years ago? Come on!
“Wolf in the Fold” begins with Scotty, McCoy, and Kirk watching a belly dancer, and the scene goes on forever. I get it, she’s dancing, let’s move on. Scotty takes the dancer out for a walk but is later found with a knife in his hand, and the dancer has been stabbed… another murder mystery, hoorah! No seriously, I absolutely love murder mysteries. A technician from the Enterprise beams down to work some magic on Scotty, but she is also stabbed, again appearing like it was Scotty. I suspect someone is framing him, but it’s too hard to tell how. As the wife of the Prefect is killed, and Scotty is standing over her with a knife, they decide to go to the Enterprise to use the capability of the computer. Although Scotty doesn’t remember anything about the first two murders, he suspects there is something – not someone – that killed the wife. Okay, I did NOT see Jack the Ripper coming. They also did that on Babylon 5, by the way. I know, Babylon 5 came after, but interesting to see where the idea might have come from.
The administrator that came from Rigel IV is clearly up to something, he’s been blaming Scotty the whole time and against anything that tries to blame someone else, when we find out the murders on Rigel IV came just one year ago… dun dun dun. “Jack” gets loose in the computer of the ship and starts to control all things, including life support. Everyone gets an injection of sedatives in order to stave off the fear, Sulu is high as fuck and plays it well, while Spock orders the computer to try and evaluate the last digit of Pi (which is not possible) in order to push Jack out of the computer. The spirit of Jack keeps jumping from body to body until they are able to put it into space. Everyone on the crew, except Spock and Kirk, are high from the sedative and we end scene.
So I totally knew something was up with the guy who turned out to be hiding Jack’s spirit, but I didn’t see Jack the Ripper coming. I mean I should have with all the stab wounds, but I didn’t. McCoy does everything he can this episode to try to steer those in charge to the conclusion that either Scotty could never, or if he did it was because of the concussion. Sure, random multiple stabbing of women is totally possible for a concussed man because it was a woman that caused the concussion. First off, that woman was an android (if I’m remembering which time Scotty got his ass handed to him correctly, there have been quite a few this season), and secondly that’s not how the brain works! /end rant/ I still enjoyed the plot twist, although it was at the sake of three women and Kirk doesn’t get as bent out of shape about losing this particular crew member as he does the men, but we’ll chalk that up to the 60’s. This episode receives 6 and three-quarter polka dots from me.
“The Trouble with Tribbles” is an episode that came with a lot of hype, and I absolutely loved it. The Enterprise is heading toward a planet that has both Federation and Klingon claims, the Organian peace treaty from Season 1 is mentioned, and then there’s a Priority 1 distress call and they head to the space station that’s, wait *checks notes*, not actually in distress. Oh great there are two men in suits being asses, and Spock puts them in their place with his superior knowledge. Kirk is aghast that they’ve been called to protect wheat (okay it’s something else that has a long name), but they stay anyway and some of the crew gets shore leave. Uhura falls in love with a Tribble (cute little purring ball of fur), but it begins to eat some of the wheat-stuff and I’m instantly going “oh no”. I know it will be important later. The trader gives Uhura the Tribble and life goes on… for now.
The Klingons have arrived but not to attack, instead to invoke shore leave. Back on the Enterprise, the Tribble has procreated and everyone, including Spock is enamoured. Scotty tells Chekov to calm down when the Captain is insulted, but then the drunk Klingon insults the Enterprise and Scotty gets a nice right hook in. One does not simply insult Scotty’s lady love, so we have a BAR FIGHT! Back in sickbay, the Tribbles are multiplying. McCoy and Spock share a sassy exchange, and everyone starts to realize that the Tribbles have infiltrated all areas of the ship, including the bridge. The sheer number of Tribbles is ridiculous and the comedy factor is off the charts, including when Kirk opens the grain silo and the Tribbles all fall out, an exact number that Spock calculates in seconds.
Some of them are dead and Kirk believes that there is something wrong with the grain or possibly the Tribbles. Apparently Tribbles do not like Klingons and they react poorly to the assistant as he enters the room… guess we found the spy! In true I Love Lucy style, the trader begins stuffing Tribbles anywhere he can. Back on the Enterprise, everyone seems apprehensive to tell Kirk what happened to the Tribbles. Apparently, Scotty transported them into the Klingon ship’s engine room, and here I am laughing 5 hours later. That ending alone makes the entire episode worth it. I’m not sure what I ranked “Amok Time”, but this is my second favorite episode after that. As RuPaul would say, “10s, 10s across the board”.
“The Gamesters of Triskelion” have Kirk, Uhura, and Chekov land somewhere they did not anticipate and they are surrounded by four strangers with weapons. Our three heroes are going to be trained to be slaves, apparently. WHAT IS GOING ON IN Uhura’s CELL? Guys, this is NOT okay. Oh dear lord, Chekov is a babe in the woods in this episode. Kirk is doing what Kirk does best, laying the charm on thick in order to get information. During training they do not want to participate, but Kirk winds up impressing the providers and they are all sold. We get some more shirtless, flirty Kirk and the Enterprise is on a wild goose chase to try and find their three missing crew members. The providers are finally displayed and they are… tiny little brains? What the hell is going on in this episode? Didn’t these brains get the note that humans don’t like being enslaved? I mean it was part of the pilot episode. Kirk figures out they like to gamble, but so does he and Kirk wins, of course. The slaves are freed and will be trained, while the Enterprise gets to go free and back on their merry way.
I have SO MANY PROBLEMS with this episode. I can’t even. Therefore, I will simply tell you this is the worst episode of Star Trek I have watched so far. Unfortunately, I am told there are still worse ones to come. Le sigh. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. We’re in the second half of the second season, as well as the second half of January. Progress is being made!